For many tenants, one of the best things about living in rented accommodation is the fact that most if not all of the property maintenance falls under the umbrella of landlord responsibilities.
Whereas homeowners will have to deal with troublesome issues like broken boilers or washing machine woes, tenants can simply place a quick call to their landlord or property manager and have the issue dealt with at no additional cost. However, while it’s true that responsibility for most of the maintenance lies with the landlord, tenants do have some responsibilities of their own as well.
Here, we take a look at some of the most common landlord and tenant responsibilities you may expect to find in a standard rental agreement:
As the tenants are residents, it is their responsibility to keep the property in a clean, liveable condition on a day to day basis. This means regularly cleaning, taking out bins and recycling, and treating the property with respect so as not to cause deliberate physical damage (beyond what is deemed wear and tear).
Plumbing and heating
Issues relating to plumbing can result in flooding, which can of course cause a large amount of damage in a short amount of time. Therefore, it’s important that tenants report any issues to you promptly to get the issue dealt with – if they fail to do this, it can be considered negligence, which could mean they are liable for covering the costs of repairs. As a landlord, you are responsible for fixing the damaged plumbing and repairing/replacing any white goods or fixtures.
Smoke Detectors, fire alarms and CO2 detectors
As of 2015, landlords are legally obligated to provide CO2 and smoke detectors, and to ensure these are in working order at the commencement of a new tenancy. Tenants should regularly test the alarms, and replace the batteries as and when they are needed.
Pests and vermin
In keeping the property clean (as mentioned earlier), tenants should be taking steps towards minimising the risk of pests and infestation. It may well be written into the lease agreement that tenants are responsible for the upkeep for this reason, and that should the landlord have to exterminate, the costs incurred will be deducted from the security deposit. However the infestation arises, it is ultimately up to the landlord to ensure it is dealt with quickly.
It is important to ensure both landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to maintenance and repairs, as this will help keep the property in top condition whilst also reducing the risk of any disputes arising. In the rental agreement, make sure you clearly outline your responsibilities as landlord, as well as who is responsible for carrying out maintenance (for example, yourself or a property management agency). This will help tenants understand their renters rights and to put in requests for repairs and maintenance quickly to prevent an issue escalating.